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High winds, high surf, possible thunderstorms forecast for Big Island

A high-wind warning remains in place for Hawaii island’s north and east sides, as well as Kohala, through 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The National Weather Service says very windy conditions, with northeast to east winds of 25 to 40 miles per hour, with gusts up to 65 mph, can be expected over parts of Maui and Hawaii counties, as well as the summits on the Big Isle, through at least Wednesday.

Other parts of Hawaii County, including the interior, as well as Lanai, Kahoolawe, and Kahului in Maui County, are under a wind advisory, also through 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Over the last 24 hours, the NWS has clocked winds up to 67 mph at Kohala Ranch on Hawaii island, 53 mph at Kaneloa on Maui and 43 mph at Palehua on Oahu.

Officials warn that winds may blow down trees and power lines, causing outages and damage roofs. The public should be alert for falling tree branches when walking or driving. Travel will be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.

Hawaii County has closed Spencer Beach Park until further notice due to the high-wind warning, while Hapuna remains closed until debris is removed.

A high-surf advisory also remains in effect for the east shores of isles from Kauai to Hawaii island due to strong trades, in effect through 6 p.m. Friday.

Surf is expected to rise steadily through the week — 6 to 10 feet today, then 8 to 12 feet Wednesday — then peak to warning levels later in the week.

Officials urge the public to be aware of strong, breaking waves and rip currents, making swimming difficult and dangerous, but also warn of beach erosion and wave runup along east shores later in the week, when high tides coincide with the elevated surf.

Forecasters, meanwhile, say there is a slight chance of thunderstorms for Hawaii island, as well as waters to the east and south today.

For the rest of the isles, today is expected to be partly cloudy, with highs from 79 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit and easterly winds of 20 to 35 mph and even higher gusts. Lows tonight range from 70 to 75 degrees.

Strong and gusty trades are expected to continue through the week, with showers focused mainly over windward and mauka areas.

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